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"RonB" wrote: -----------------------------------------------------

period to present: -----------------------------------------------------
I come from the post WWII era.
The world stopped for me with the 50 Merc whose headlights will be remembered by all those who found a use other than driving at night for them
Buick sucked with the change in model years being denoted by how many chrome rings were on each side during the '50s.
Bigger tail fins were the answer for innovative design.
Olds 88 and Olds 98 which was an 88 with a longer trunk.
Ford saved the decade of the '50s with the first thunder chicken.
Too bad they screwed it up.
Never could figure out what made people go gaga for a '57 Chevy.
1960 gave us Detroit's answer to the "Bug", the Corvair from GM and can't remember what Ford and Chrysler called their crap but all were duds.
Had a '65 Ford Fairlane 500 hard top with a 289 and a cable release for the trunk.
I thought I was the cat's ass when I pulled up to the grocery store loading lane and popped the trunk so the kids could load the groceries.
I sold that car when my job included a furnished car, but as far as I know, whoever ended up with it liked the car.
Then came the Muskrat in '64, what a tin can.
The next 50 years were all down hill.
Detroit wouldn't build what people wanted to buy and what they built was crap.
GMs refusal to build a diesel engine line but rather tried to raise the compression of a gasoline engine for the Olds.
It was doomed before you turned the ignition switch.
Detroit did it with their own shovel.
They dug a deep hole and ran right down into it.
Yes we need the talent and the knowledge that id "Detroit", but it will come at a BIG price.
Off the stump.
Lew
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That engine had very little in common with the gasoline engine. No parts were enterchangable except perhaps valve cover bolts. It's biggest most common problem was an inadequate fuel filtering system that did not seperate water from the fuel. Any amount of water that went through the injector pump resulted in a very minimum of damage to the elisticast ring failure inside the pump. From there the water would damage the engine. It was not until 1985, the last year that Oldsmobile used that diesel engine that they finally added a fuel filter system that would keep water out of the injection system. We, the dealership strongly advised every diesel customer to add a better, Racor filter system, to their cars. The V6 diesel engine suffered the same problem and fate.

It would have done much better had only the fuel system been better from the start. GM was arrogent that way, they did not provide the fuel, it was the customers responsibility to find fuel with out water in it. Fat chance!

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"Leon" wrote:

I certainly hope not.
Starting with an engine block casting designed for 9.5:1 compression ratio and then milling a few "tenths" off the head and block to approach 20:1 for a diesel.
Let's not even talk about the connecting rods, the crank, the pistons, etc.
It was not only lousy engineering, it approached placing GM on an equal to the flim flam man.
------------------------------------------------------

Anybody who has ever had anything to do with a diesel knows how important fuel filtering is for successful operation.
Along about the time, the small Racor (Which is owned by Parker) was less than $150 installed most places including sailboat engine compartments which are a damn sight more confining than auto engine compartments.
My guess is that even at the highly discounted OEM level, GM was still not interested.
As far as diesel filters were concerned, there is Racor and there is Racor.
They build great products.
-------------------------------------------------

Another fine example of "Detroit" building what people didn't want (Crap that didn't work) for the auto market.
My guess they didn't try that with GM Truck & Coach.
Their customers would have laughed them out of the building.
Bottom line.........................................
That so-called diesel GM offered for the Olds was an hermaphroditic gang bang, not a diesel engine.
BTW, was told the story of how the head of Buick in Flint, where the new diesel was to be built, killed a new engine program solely on cost, by one of my GM contacts at the time.
This guy figured the automotive diesel was just a flash in the pan and would go away as soon as gasoline prices dropped.
Sound familiar?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

hybrid technology to GM. The reasoning is to make this technology the world's de facto standard.
I also remember reading somewhere that much of the early development of this technology was done by GM who sold it to Toyota since GM could not see any foreseeable value in it. Can't verify that but it does fit with the corporate attitude. Their customers were the stock holders and not the consumers.     gloomy gus,     jo4hn
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jo4hn wrote:

Pithy, dude ..., pithy!
That's precisely what you get with the advent of MBA's.
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I suspect that GM was too arrogant to accept that technology although they let Toyota build the mid 80's Chevy Nova and later on some of the Geo models.
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It "looked" similar but IIRC the injector pump and distributor were in different locations on the engines, they both were driven by the cam. IIRC the mains were 4 bolt and eventually GM used roller lifters. The Olds engine that the diesel looked like used pivots to paor the rocker arms, the diesel did not. The heads we totally different animals with glow plug chambers.

I'll not argue with you there, the fuel system was a hodge podge of reputable manufacturers but virtually no diesel fuel filtration set up.

Successful operation and engine longetivity.

IIRC we were buying the units for about $125, 25 years ago. In 1985 I saw a very similar unit come equiped from the factory.

Oddly the diesel car engine is making a come back but the new emission laws restricting sulfur content has retarded the come back.
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Chevelle so much in High School I found another in 1999 and completely restored it. Loving it again but more appreciative this time around.
--
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but you can't make them THINK"
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

The number of chrome rings has always denoted the number of cylinders--six cylinders had 3 to a side, eights had 4. If the GM 12 ever actually goes into production then no doubt those will have 6 to a side.

Thunderchicken never impressed me all that much--it didn't know what it wanted to be--they tried to make it a Corvette competitor but any random Corvette would kick it's ass, then they tried to make it a luxury car with no back seat to speak of (the one with suicide doors entering into a seat that made an XKE-2+2 look like a Checker Marathon was a riot), then it was just another nondescript car with no character to speak of for a while. If they had just priced it like a Mustang they'd have gained a decade on the industry and sold a zillion of them.

Three little digits. 2-8-3. With fuel injection. And a bottom end that would take enough boost that drag racers could pull more than 1000 horsepower out of it.

Actually the Corvair wasn't a "dud", it was murdered. Corvairs were _beating_ Porsche in European racing, but Ralph Nader, who has never had a driver's license, managed with a series of well publicized lawsuits that he lost and a book entitled "Unsafe at Any Speed" to convince the public that their handling was dangerously inferior to the understeering klunkers that were commonplace in the US at the time. He later tried the same trick on the Beetle, that used the same suspension design, and instead became a laughningstock. The final nail in his coffin as a credible consumer advocate was when he started claiming that disk brakes were a conspiracy to drive up maintenance costs, but by that time the Corvair was gone. But he's still at it, with his shenanigans costing Gore the election a few years back (think _Bush_ "stole the election", it was that damned fool Nader that torpedoed Gore).

Yeah, I saw one of the first ones and at fourteen recognized it as my mother's Falcon with fancy sheet metal. Never understood the appeal.

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wrote:

Agreed, and I'll add a few more to the list. My shop also includes tools made in Austria, Australia, Canada, Sweden, and New Zealand -- no quality problems with any of them.
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jtpryan wrote:

Before you go off on US workers, consider a few points:
- They don't control the design of the parts they are supposed to assemble, that's up to the engineers.
- Those engineers are told to design within certain cost limits by the bean counters and managers.
- They don't control the quality of the parts they are supposed to assemble, that's up to the bean counters and managers who specify cost and suppliers for those parts.
- There are some structural problems with US corporations which almost inevitably lead to lower quality and higher prices. These include but are not limited to laws which require short-term profit-seeking for shareholders over long-term company health, laws that allow for control of corporations by boards of directors who set their own salaries but are not accountable to the shareholders, laws which allow corporate personhood, and ridiculous health care costs due to a dysfunctional health care delivery system.
US workers don't want to produce poor products, they want to make high-quality products and earn living wages. Always slamming the workers is criticizing those who have the least control, and demanding constantly lower wages only hastens the race to the bottom and lowers general quality of life for our society. Want to live and work in Mexico or China?
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scritch wrote:

And those cost limits you mentioned aren't directly affected by the cost of the labor? Hmm...
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That is all good and well until you consider that those same workers build Toyota and Honda. The American car workers are way past spoiled with over paid jobs.
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They're a dying breed, Leon.. literally dying....
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They're a dying breed, Leon.. literally dying....
My neighbor here in Houston went with wife for a family reunion in Michigan. Many of her relatives have worked for the auto industry up there for many years and they are all hurting. They all admitted that they saw this coming for many years and were not blaming anyone as they had it way too good for far too long.
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A customer of mine ( a countertop for his 'cottage' on the Canadian side) is a bankruptcy lawyer in Michigan. I listened and was gobsmacked by some of the stories. I had NO idea that there had been such catastrophic damage done in the last 8 years.
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Leon wrote:

1973 ... there were more NY, NJ, MI, FL, and OH plates during rush hour traffic in Houston then there were TX plates.
The more things change ...
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"Swingman" wrote:

Along about that time, spent a few days in Houston calling on the engineering houses chasing some jobs.
Damn the pickings were easy.
Thought for a minute I had arrived with a carpet bag.
I swear, had I spent another week there, might still be in Houston rather than SoCal.
Lew
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I remember the joke, "Will the last person leaving Michigan please turn out the lights!"
Dave in Houston
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"Dave in Houston" wrote:

Actually that was Seattle.
They turned out the the lights on Detroit with the riots.
They just never turned them back on.
40+ years later, they are still off.
Lew
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